Welcome to what could possibly be a new fun series for us here on Defending Big D featuring top five lists. Lets face it, everyone loves a good sports list! People love making them, people love comparing them to others and people love complaining about them! So every Sunday morning (if you dear readers are indeed game for it) we'll put out a new top five hockey list based on our own "expert" opinion (am I an expert?) but as always we'll leave the floor open to you fine people to agree, disagree, say we're out of our minds, whatever you choose and share your own personal list.
Today we tackle a list that at first I thought would be fairly easy to put together, but on further review it's not as cut and dry as one would expect... The five greatest Stars of all-time. Just so we're clear, we're talking Stars history covering from the Minnesota days of 1968 to 1993 and the Dallas Stars of now because quite honestly, the Stars franchise history is too deep and has too many great players to just simply ignore.
It's almost kind of painful to consider who was left off this list: Dave Gagner, a three time Selke winner in Jere Lehtinen, hall of famers like Dino Ciccarelli and Brett Hull... Still, when you look over the following five, it's hard to argue that they should be left off, although some of you just may! Anyway, lets start off shall we?
#5 Greatest Star: Ed Belfour
You can argue that Marty Turco is the Stars greatest goalie of all time and it was very tempting to put him at 5 over Eddie, but for me it came down to one question: If I was putting together a Stars all-time team to win one single game and the lineup was based on how they played while in their prime of their Stars career, who would I take? Give me the guy that backstopped the team to a Stanley Cup please.
Numbers four through to one following the jump...
#4 Greatest Star: Sergei Zubov
Perhaps one of the NHL's most underrated defensemen of all-time, but there was no way "Zubie" was going to be left off this list. Are Stars fans biased when extolling the virtues of #56 on the blue line? Of course, but if we didn't do it, no one would! Three time NHL all-star, named to the 2006 NHL post-season 2nd all-star team, a finalist for the Norris trophy in 2006 as well, although truth be told he should have been named a Norris finalist (and winner) more than just that one time
#3 Greatest Star: Brian Bellows
Bellows carved himself a very nice career spending the first ten seasons of it with Minnesota. In those ten seasons he never once scored less than 20 goals or had less than 50 points. Bellows was for a short time in 1983-84 was the Stars captain at an age younger than Sidney Crosby and his leadership shined through again in 1991 when the Stars made their run to the Stanley Cup final as he led the North Stars playoff scoring with 29 points.
#2 Grestest Star: Neal Broten
It's a shame that Neal never got to win a Stanley Cup with the Stars franchise - even though he came close in both 1981 and 1991with the North Stars, because if he had the debate on who #1 would be much closer than anyone would probably admit to. Still, Neal - who had his #7 retired by the Stars in 1998 - will always hold a prominent place in Stars history as he most likely will be on the team's statistical top five categories for some time to come. Besides, even if somehow inexplicably long time North Stars fans forget about all the goals, points and clutch playoff play, they for sure will never forget the time Neal took Wayne Gretzky briefly out to the wood-shed.
#1 Grestest Star: Mike Modano
Ok, maybe we can all debate until the end of time on who should fill spots five through to two, but number one isn't up for debate at all right? Eight time all-star, leads Stars in goals, assists, points and games played in both regular season and the playoffs. Face of the franchise indeed.
What do you think? Agree with the list? Would put in a different order? Make sure you let us know in the comments section!